Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Zealand's Heaphy Track

The Heaphy Track is one of nine of New Zealand's Great Walks.  These are multi-day hikes through what is touted as some of New Zealand's most scenic landscapes.  While most of New Zealand is beautiful and it is even more beautiful when there aren't hoards of people along a trail like there are on the great walks, but the Heaphy Track was still beautiful.

Who brings extra shoes to leave on a pole while hiking?
The first, third, and fourth day of the hike are through a green tunnel of strange trees and ferns and small fantail birds that hop and fly around you to defend their territory as you stop for a snack break or larger flightless chicken-duck birds called weka's that will steal anything from underwear to food out of an open pack or picnic table.

The second and fifth days hold the most spectacular scenery.  Day two takes you from the highest point along the trail (just over 3000 feet) through high grasslands and open river valleys with the only real view of surrounding mountains along the whole hike.

Day five takes you along the violent west coast with waves crashing just feet from the trail and palm trees dividing the ocean from the dense rain forest.

After 5 months in Antarctica everyone on the hike wanted greenery and rain and ocean.  That's exactly what we got.

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